NetJets Pilots And Management Still At Loggerheads

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According to a Forbes article published yesterday (Dec. 19), NetJets management and its pilots union remain far apart on contract negotiations. NetJets says it has offered a 52.5% pay increase (cumulatively spread out through 2029), while the pilots representatives claim it would take a 60% increase “on day one” to be competitive with airline pay.

A new survey conducted by the University of New Hampshire on behalf of the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP) indicates that two-thirds of the fractional provider’s pilots do not consider their job at NetJets to be a “career destination.” Citing lack of progress in talks on the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), 40% of NetJets pilots said they expected to leave the company within a year. About 500 of the 3,100 pilots who fly for NetJets participated in the survey, according to Forbes.

Paulette Gilbert, NJASAP vice president and a NetJets pilot for 22 years, said, “I spent 22 years trying to make NetJets the best it could be, but now even people in my demographic are looking at leaving because NetJets does not offer a competitive contract. You might make 60% less [than what major airlines pay].” According to the union, salaries at NetJets range from $77,000 for new-hire pilot up to a high of about $200,000.

Brad Ferrell, executive VP of administrative services for NetJets, said in a statement, “In November, we made what we believe was an extremely generous offer to NJASAP, which included 52.5% cumulative base wage increases [graduated through the CBA term ending in 2029] and other enhancements, without any additional duration to the current CBA.” The wage increases would start with a 23% increase as of Dec. 21, 2023, followed by 6% next year and 4% for each of the next four years for a cumulative total of 52.5%. Under the pay scale offered, NetJets said, the average salary for a NetJets pilot would be $288,000.

Ferrell told Forbes, “NetJets willingly and voluntarily negotiated with NJSAP throughout 2023, despite the fact there are several years remaining on the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. NJSAP rejected the Company’s offer, never offering their members a chance to vote on the proposed terms.”

According to the website Private Jet Card Comparisons, turnover among NetJets pilots remained below the national average at 7.3% for the 12 months ending Nov. 30, 2023.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Noob question: is it fair to compare 121 salaries to Netjet salaries? I think 121 folks get paid by the hour- meaning it could be correlated to the revenue generated for each hour. Does a Netjet flight generate the same per hour as a 121 flight? Am I looking at this wrong?

  2. Having flown corporate a long time ago, I knew that was not the track I wanted to pursue. While at the airline I had an array of flight support functions available, while the corporate scene at least back then, included not only flying but also planning, filing, fuel requirements, alternate selection, catering, often between flights maintaining the aircraft appearance and worst of all, dealing with clients that needed their nose wiped. Often extending the flight plan departure time because the anointed client didn’t arrive at the time they said they would. Being asked to bend the rules at the destination despite the weather being below minimums for the approach or flying over gross just to keep your job. I could go on but it would take several pages of this venue.

    On the revenue side, I don’t see how a corporate jet even loaded with the 1%ers could arrive at the revenue of a fully loaded Boeing or Airbus which does multiple city pairs per day. Therefore it seems unlikely you can make a comparison between pay rates and have a corporate crew make the same as the airline crew. Actually, I’m surprised that more crew members haven’t already jumped ship from the fractionals to the airlines since the hiring spree started.

    • I’m surprised you would wonder about “revenue” if you flew corporate. Those of us who fly corporate understand that airliners have to generate more revenue than the cost to own and operate, else the company goes out of business. Corporate operators do not make money from their aircraft; they simply use them as transportation. My company does not generate a single dollar of revenue from any of our airplanes. They’re just a conveyance, a means of doing business rather than a generator of any revenue whatsoever. Apples vs. oranges.

      Corporate jobs are like airline jobs. Some are terrible, and others are fantastic. I know airline jobs aren’t all smiles and roses because most every airline pilot I’ve ever met complains incessantly about their job and company.

  3. You must be working for an exceptional corporate flight department Ron. Probably running it closer to 121 regs than 91. Perhaps no pilot pushing. For me no comparison pushing a Falcon around or the left seat of a Boeing. To each his own flavor, I enjoyed mine right up to 60.

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